The Makrothen Contest – 1/3 [RTTY | 80,40,20,15,10]

Makrothen Contest Rules

Makrothen (Makrovqen) is an ancient Greek word meaning “great distance” or “some distance away”.

Date and Time

The contest takes place on the second full weekend of October each year. The next contest dates are Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October 2021, with three separate periods: Saturday 00:00-08:00 UTC and 16:00-24:00 UTC and Sunday 08:00-16:00 UTC.  A station may participate in all three periods and should submit one combined log for all periods.


For amateurs around the world to contact as many other amateurs as possible during the three periods of operation using RTTY.

Terms of Competition for all categories

  • All entrants must operate within the limits of their chosen category when performing any activity that could impact their submitted score. Only the entrants callsign can be used to aid the entrants score. A station operating from a DXCC Entity different from that indicated by its callsign is required to sign portable (i.e.: KH6XYZ/W2 or GM/G1XYZ).
  • All antennas must be physically connected by wires to the transceiver/s, transmitter/s and receiver/s used by the entrant. All transceivers, transmitters, receivers and antennas must be located within a 500 meter diameter area or within property limits of the station licensee, whichever is greater. All operation must take place from the same operating site.
  • Remote operation is permitted provided that all transmitters, receivers and antennas are at a single station location.  A remotely operated station must comply with all station and operator licenses and with category limitations.  The callsign used must be one issued or permitted by the Regulatory Authority with jurisdiction for the station location.
  • Remote receivers outside the station location are not permitted.
  • Correction of logged callsigns and exchanges after the contest by using any database, recordings, email or other methods of confirming QSOs is not permitted.
  • Callsigns logged must be the same as those exchanged over the air by the stations making the QSO.
  • The number of receivers permitted per category includes any device than enables reception of signals regardless of whether they are decoded or converted to audio; this includes (but is not limited to), sub-receivers, transceiver supporting two or more independent receivers including Software Defined Radio, external SDR dongles etc.  A pan adaptor monitoring a single band with a receiver on the same band is permitted and counts as one receiver.  A pan adaptor used to monitor a second band regadless of whether it has an active decoder or audio, is considered a second receiver.  A receiver that support synchronous diversity reception of a single signal at a time, is considered a single receiver.
  • In categories that permit multiple receivers or mutliple transmitters, the use of same-band, dueling CQ’s is specifically prohibited.
  • Any form of DX alerting assistance is permitted in all categories. Self spotting of any form on spotting nets is not permitted for any category. Self spotting is defined as generating packet radio or web site spots for your contest callsign, including – for example – this methods: using your own callsign; spotting your callsign while using another callsign; spotting of your callsign by other stations as a result of prearranged solicitation. To notify the locator of a station via any form of DX alerting assistance is unwanted and this unsportsmanlike behaviour can lead to a disqualification.

Categories (For Log Templates – see the Log Templates page)

Category 1: Single-op, Single-Rx, All Band, Low Power (SINGLE-OP ONE ALL LOW)

  • SO/Single Transceiver LP
  • Total output power must not exceed 100 watts

Category 2: Single-op, Single-Rx, All Band, High Power (SINGLE-OP ONE ALL HIGH)

  • SO/Single Transceiver HP
  • Total output power must not exceed 1500 watts

Category 3: Single-op, Multi-Rx, All Band, Low Power (SINGLE-OP UNLIMITED ALL LOW)

  • SO/Multi  Transceiver LP
  • Add SOAPBOX remark ‘SO/Multi’
  • Total output power must not exceed 100 watts

Category 4: Single-op, Multi-Rx, All Band, High Power (SINGLE-OP UNLIMITED ALL HIGH)

  • SO/Multi  Transceiver HP
  • Add SOAPBOX remark ‘SO/Multi’
  • Total output power must not exceed 1500 watts

Category 5: Multi-op, Single-Rx, All Band, Low Power (MULTI-OP ONE ALL LOW)

  • MO/Single Transceiver LP
  • Add SOAPBOX remark ‘MO/Single’
  • Total output power must not exceed 100 watts

Category 6: Multi-op, Single-Rx, All Band, High Power (MULTI-OP ONE ALL HIGH)

  • MO/Single Transceiver HP
  • Add SOAPBOX remark ‘MO/Single’
  • Total output power must not exceed 1500 watts

Category 7: Multi-op, Multi-Rx, All Band, Low Power (MULTI-MULTI UNLIMITED ALL LOW)

  • MO/Multi Transceiver LP
  • Add SOAPBOX remark ‘MO/Multi’
  • Total output power must not exceed 100 watts

Category 8: Multi-op, Multi-Rx, All Band, High Power (MULTI-MULTI UNLIMITED ALL HIGH)

  • MO/Multi Transceiver HP
  • Add SOAPBOX remark ‘MO/Multi’
  • Total output power must not exceed 1500 watts

Note for categories 3 & 4, 7 & 8: No limit to transceivers, transmitters and receivers, but only one signal and running station allowed per band.


Only the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands may be used.


Send the first 4 characters of the “Maidenhead Grid Square Locator” (grid locator) for the station QTH (i.e. FM19, JO41 etc.).  No RST report is required.

If you don’t know the Maidenhead Locator for your station location, find it here – with thanks to K2DSL. 

Your log must show the correct locator sent and received for each contact. You must send the same locator for each QSO.

QSO Points

A station may be worked once on each band for QSO points credit. The points for the QSO are equal to the distance in kilometers (rounded to the lowest integer value – i.e. discard the decimal fraction) between the two stations exchanging their locators. One point is scored for each one kilometer.  The distance in kilometers is rounded to the lowest integer (also known as “rounded down”) BEFORE applying the band factor – this is the “points per kilometer” value referred to below.

Points on the lower bands: For a QSO on 40m, multiply the “points per kilometer” by 1.5 (band factor). For a QSO on 80m multiply the “points per kilometer” by 2.0 (band factor).

Special case – Exception: If both stations are located in the same grid square, then both stations – regardless of the band – get 100 points for this QSO. Do NOT apply a band factor to the 100 point score!

Distance Calculation

  1. The calculation of the distance should assume the earth is a perfect sphere with a radius of 6378.16 km.
  2. The base point for the distance calculation is the CENTER of the Maidenhead Grid Square.
  3. The values for the radius of the earth and PI are integral parts of the calculation.

The formula

distance = acos(cos(a1) x cos(b1) x cos(a2) x cos(b2) + cos(a1) x sin(b1) x cos(a2) x sin(b2) + sin(a1) x sin(a2)) x radius

a1 = latitude of station-1
b1 = longitude of station-1
a2 = latitude of station-2
b2 = longitude of station-2

Please note: a1, b1, a2, b2 in radians

radians = degrees x PI / 180

PI = 3.1415926535897932384626433832795

Calculating the SCORE for the QSO is a two-step process:

Step 1:  Calculate the distance using the above formula.  Round the result down to the nearest integer.  Score each kilometer as one point.  This is the “points per kilometer” value.

Step 2:  Apply the appropriate band factor from the table below by taking the value and using it to multiply the result from step 1.  Round the result down to the nearest integer.  This is the final score for the QSO.

80m – 2.0x
40m – 1.5x
20m – 1.0x
15m – 1.0x
10m 0 1.0x

Here is a worked example between CM87 and EL49:
Distance (from formula): 3083.16832178 Km, rounds down to 3083 points.
20/15/10:  3083
40: 4624
80: 6166



There are no multipliers in the Makrothen Contest.


Your score is the sum of all points for each band. For each valid QSO the distance, points and the total score will be calculated by the official log checker! Bear this in mind if your log checked score differs from that calculated by your logging software. Its is possible that your logging software does not support the Makrothen distance and calculation method or calculates the distance with an different radius of the earth, etc. ..!

Log Submission

Do not remove duplicates from your log.  There is no penalty for duplicate contacts.

Logs must be submitted using the Makrothen Log Submission form.

Logs MUST be submitted in CABRILLO format – no exceptions!!

If your submitted log is processed without error after form submission, you will find your callsign in the list of Logs Received. See Received Logs.  Using the log submission form, you will receive immediate feedback if there are problems found in your log.

All logs must be received by 2359Z on 20th October 2021 in order to qualify.

For more information check out the log templates on the Log Template page. Any incomplete entries will be classified as check logs. The judges decisions shall be final.

Club Competition

Clubs may enter the Club Competition. The name of the club must be clearly identified in the header of the Cabrillo log.  The Club Competition is “for fun” and to foster more activity. There is a separate listing for the Club Competition scores.


Violation of amateur radio regulations in the country of the contestant, the rules of the contest, cheating or other unsportsmanlike conduct, taking credit for excessive unverifiable QSO’s or sending an invalid “Maidenhead Grid Square Locator” will be deemed sufficient cause for disqualification.


Prior to 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, trophies were awarded for each category in which a minimum of 30 logs were received with the top three stations in the World in the category each awarded a trophy.  The pandemic impacted our supplier causing production issues and shipment costs by postal mail more than doubled to the point where the shipping costs were more than the trophy cost.  International shipments have becoming even more complicated or in some cases, reliable shipment to many countries has been suspended because of the pandemic.  For now, trophy awards are suspended – we hope to resume these awards at some point in the future.

Certificates are available electronically for all participants and may be downloaded by visiting the Makrothen Certificate page.  Certificates may be generated showing World placement, Continent placement or both.

The Makrothen Contest definitions of Continents are: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.  A station’s continent is determined by using the latest AD1C Country file issued before the contest.

Contest Sponsor

This contest is supported by Pizza Lovers 259 (PL259), an active Contest Club located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.  The Contest Manager is Stu Phillips, K6TU.

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